CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O CONGRATULATED KATE MIDDLETON AND PRINCE WILLIAM ON THE BIRTH OF THEIR BABY PRINCE.
HE THEN BROKE DOWN SOBBING WONDERING, "IF I'M NOT THE YOUNG PRINCE ANYMORE WHAT AM I?"
WHITE HOUSE PLUS SPOKESMODEL JAY CARNEY AND TOKEN LITTLE PERSON VALERIE JARRETT RUSHED TO ASSURE HIM HE WAS STILL CELEBRITY IN CHIEF AND BELOVED BY ALL IN THE VILLAGE BUT BARRY O WAS HAVING NONE OF IT.
"IF I'M NOT THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL, I'M NOTHING!" BARRY O WAILED.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
How bad are things in Iraq today? So bad that the issue was actually raised to State Dept press spokesperson Jen Psaki in today's briefing:
QUESTION: You don’t think that you’re trying to avoid anything here?
MS. PSAKI: I think this has become a game, so I’m moving on to the next question.
QUESTION: Yeah. Insurgents in Iraq attacked two prisons during the weekend and freed more than 1,000 prisoners, most of them from al-Qaida. Are you aware of that? And to what extent you are concerned?
MS. PSAKI: I’m not – I haven’t seen this report that you’re referring to, but I’m happy to look into it.
QUESTION: Well, still on Iraq.
QUESTION: Jen --
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: On Iraq?
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Yeah. Okay. This morning, I saw Mr. Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Iraq. It’s his last day. He paints a very bad picture of what’s going on in Iraq. And the feeling – not from him, but from others – I’m getting that the United States actually is not involved. It’s looking sort of neutrally at all this violence that’s going on.
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. Well, I would refute that, Said. We are deeply concerned by the levels of violence. We’re encouraged that many political and religious leaders have taken a strong stance against this violence, which is very important, and that they’ve continued to explore ways to address ongoing political and security issues. We welcome recent political developments, including the reciprocal visits in Erbil and Baghdad between Prime Minister Maliki and Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Barzani, discussions by Iraqi leaders to address issues arising from recent protests in western Iraq, and legislative initiatives in the Iraqi parliament.
In terms of our involvement, U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington remain intensely engaged with senior Iraqi leaders to support their efforts to resolve differences through direct dialogue and the political process. The level of our engagement is reflected even recently by calls placed last week by Vice President Biden to Iraqi leaders, and we’ll continue to work with leaders to overcome the threat of terrorism and their efforts to bring justice to those who continue to perpetrate* such despicable crimes.
We should all be very disturbed that the State Dept spokesperson had no idea on Monday afternoon about the prison attacks Sunday evening. Iraq has seen many prison breaks in the last year. But yesterday saw two attacks which were rather spectacular:
Meanwhile in Iraq, NINA notes that unidentified gunmen began "simultaneously attacking the Taji and Abu Ghraib prisons" with gun fire, "improvised explosive devices and RPG launchers." They also report that the military and the police ("supported with helicopters") were surrounding the prisons. Jack Phillips (Epoch Times) adds:
Al Jazeera reported on its front page that the attack was taking place on Sunday night, and involved assailants with rocket-propelled grenades, but it did not offer more details.
The Associated Press also confirmed there were clashes at the prison on Sunday.
Charles Lister, with IHS Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Centre–an intelligence organization, wrote that a “senior ISIS commander claims Abu Ghraib & Taji prison attacks have been a success. Convoys of escaped prisoners now en route to ‘safety.’” At around 6 p.m., Lister added that “several jihadi sources claim fighting is over at Abu Ghraib.”
Jane Arraf (Al Jazeera -- report is text and video) notes of the attacks, "[Abu Ghraib prison] is now home to several high-ranking al-Qaeda prisoners, as is the prison in Taji. It appears to be an attempt to free those prisoners." All Iraq News reports that the prison attacks have been stopped. Alsumaria adds that, during the attack, prisoners in Abu Ghraib rioted and burned portions of the prison.
Again, how does the US State Dept, spending billions in Iraq, not know of the events from Sunday. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observes, "Security forces battled militants outside two major penitentiaries near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and thwarted prison breaks, the Justice Ministry said Monday." Press TV notes, "Initial reports said the attacks on prisons had been foiled, and no casualties had been reported." But today, AFP reports, "Militants attacked two Iraqi prisons including the notorious Abu Ghraib in a bid to free inmates, sparking all-night clashes in which at least 41 people, officials said on Monday." France 24 adds, "Commentors on micro-blogging website Twitter, including some accounts apparently operated by jihadists, claimed thousands of prisoners had escaped." National Iraqi News Agency reports on a press conference in Baghdad today in which MP Hakim al-Zamili declaring "that between 500 to one thousand prisoners escaped from Abu Ghraib prison."
What prompted the attacks? No one knows at this point. But Saturday, as NINA reported, Nouri had the army raid Badush Prison at dawn in Nineveh Province and that a prison source "explained that the inspections included all sections including the women's and events' prison, noting that those forces warned prisoners from the use of any of these arms and machines and mobile devices inside the compound. The source did not mention if these things had been confiscated or not." It is possible that the raid on Badush Prison prompted the raids (out of concern for those in the two prisons -- out of concern that future plans would be foiled, whatever).
The Press Trust of India notes, "Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in five years." BBC News observes, "United Nations figures released earlier in July showed that more than 2,500 Iraqis were killed in violent attacks in the three months from April to June." Through Saturday, Iraq Body Count counts 584 violent deaths for the month of July thus far. Sunday on Al Jazeera, Jane Arraf offers observations on the violence.
Jane Arraf: And really, it's the scope of the targets, the widening of the targets, and the coordinated nature of the attacks such as the eleven car bombs that hit the capital last night that really have people worried. When you think of the amount of coordination that would have to go into that, these security checks they bypassed, the sheer amount of money and then the suicide bombers who have been blowing themselves up lately, it all really points, according to most Iraqis, to an alarming rise in violence here that security forces can't handle.
Ahlul Bayt News Agency reports, "The main causes of terrorism in Iraq and other regional nations are not ignorant or jobless people, but the Global Arrogance, headed by the US and Israeli regime that have extremism under their control and use it in their own favors, Sheikh Khalid al-Mala told al-Alam on Monday."
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